Lauren Pickett’s second-half penalty lifted London Bees off the bottom of the FA Women’s Championship table after a 1-0 win over Lewes.
The Bees put in a dogged performance but survived a late Lewes onslaught on the way to securing their all-important first league win of the season.
London Bees Beat Lewes 1-0 to Record First League Win of Season
Balanced Opening in Difficult Conditions
On a damp and blustery afternoon at The Hive, the hosts started on the front foot and had their first chance after just six minutes. Nicola Gibson met Charlie Estcourt’s deep corner but headed just over Tatiana Saunders’ crossbar.
Lewes struggled to grab a foothold in the tricky conditions and ventured on their first meaningful attack after 19 minutes. Bees captain Sarah Quantrill was forced into an excellent reaction save, tipping an effort onto the crossbar and over.
Then it was the Bees’ turn to create their best chance of the half. A powerful driving run from Amelia Hazard down the right produced a cross into the box for Pickett, who volleyed over from just a few yards out.
A quiet spell was then broken up with another chance for the hosts on 38 minutes. Brooke Nunn’s cross from the left was met by Melisa Filis who nodded just a few inches wide of Saunders’ post.
Bees Claim Points in Second Half
The Bees came out into the second half as they did in the first, fashioning a good opportunity to break the deadlock a few minutes in. Filis created some space for herself in the box and forced Saunders into a good stop down low.
Lee Burch’s side continued to press for the opener when Estcourt’s awkward free-kick from distance was spilled by Saunders. Fortunately for Lewes, no one in a Bees shirt was there to follow up.
The hosts had a big opportunity to take the lead on 56 minutes when Pickett was brought down in the area by Lewes captain Rhian Cleverly. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker stepped up herself and fired into the top corner to record her first goal of the season.
Lewes looked to respond from the Bees onslaught when Ellie Leek curled an effort from distance narrowly wide of Quantrill’s post.
The Rooks continued to search for an equaliser through substitute Emma Jones, who tried to catch Quantrill at her near-post with a free-kick from the right.
Moments later Jones pounced on a mistake by Evie Gane and forced another excellent stop in close by Quantrill to deny an almost sure-leveller.
But the Bees found luck on their side deep into injury time when Megan Mackey fired an effort from the edge of the box off the crossbar.
Lewes pressed for an equaliser but couldn’t make a breakthrough as the Bees held on to record an important three points at The Hive.
Both sides’ attention will now turn to league cup action during the week. The Bees face travel across London to Crystal Palace, while Lewes face a trip to Barclays Women’s Super League side Bristol City.